Copper mining is currently facing some big challenges, not only to increase metal production but also to improve the safety of the workers and to protect the environment.
In this sense, ennomotive is supporting ACCIONA in the development of an open innovation program (I’mnovation) in Chile. The goal of this program is the co-creation of solutions with startups, launch new services in Chile and scale them up internationally.
ACCIONA is a world-leading company both in sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy generation. This company has 5 business divisions, +7,500 M EUR annual turnover, and +40,000 employees. ACCIONA has been present in Chile for over a decade and has +3,000 professionals that develop large infrastructure, water, industrial, and service projects.
I’MNOVATION STARTUPS Program
3 main challenges have been identified for the mining industry. ACCIONA is looking for startups that provide technological solutions that solve these challenges. The best proposals will be awarded 25,000 USD to build a real-life pilot on site in Chile. Such pilots will be executed in collaboration with Acciona and will go on for a 3 months period.
Additionally, once the piloting is over, ACCIONA will consider signing strategic commercial agreements with the startups to scale their solutions both locally and internationally.
Startups from all over the world can join and submit their proposals for the different challenges through the I’MNOVATION website until October 28th. The best startups will be invited to compete in the final, which will take place in Santiago de Chile during the week of 25th November.
I’mnovation Startup Competitions in Mining
Efficiency and digitalization of the leaching copper process
In the heap leaching process, large portions of the land are irrigated with water and sulphuric acid to obtain a larger copper concentration in the drainage systems. This process is complex, is not digitized, and does not consider the copper concentration in each area because it is very difficult to measure. For this reason, the current sulphuric acid irrigation process is done evenly, which is not completely efficient.
ACCIONA wants to make the heap leaching process more efficient and digitized by finding out the copper concentrations of the heap leaching stach in real time and also improve the supply of water and acid. Help us answer this questions.
How could the leaching process become more efficient? How could the use of water and acid be optimized, considering the copper concentrations? How could the required water and acid supply be improved? Join the challenge here.
Safety and Health Monitoring for On-Site Workers
Mine and Construction sectors are constantly working towards a zero-accident rate. Besides, in Chile, with the new regulations, mining companies are also responsible for a potential accident caused by a worker’s health issue (i.e. a heart attack).
ACCIONA is looking for startups with technologies that enable the real-time monitoring of the workers vital signs, actively managing their safety and health. Besides, the solutions must work in both open pit and underground mines. Help us answer these questions:
How could workers be monitored using devices they are already familiar with (i.e. a smartphone)? How could the workers receive alerts when they are at risk? How could the solutions be integrated, considering the current characteristics of the network service? How could the collected information be used to improve safety plans? Join the challenge here.
Monitoring of piping systems for both tailings and copper concentrates
In copper mining, copper concentrates and tailings (mining waste) are produced and carried through two different piping systems. These ducts are generally very long (over 30 km) and run mostly underground.
There have been occasional damages in this type of ducts, causing leakages with a high environmental impact. Knowing the condition of the ducts in real time would enable the anticipation of faults and the implementation of the necessary prevention actions to stop future damage.
ACCIONA is looking for startups that help to know the status of tailings and copper concentrate pipes using a monitoring system that answers the following questions:
How can faults be predicted and incidents anticipated? How can we prevent a leakage that affects the environment? How can the pipes’ maintenance plans be optimized? Join the challenge here.
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